Class Notes: Week 4

  • Research Seminar March 8th
  • Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Readings on YouTube
  • 80% reduction principle
  • Brooks set in 1945 – why?
    – Important to read these texts in the context of 1945
  • Part of modernism is people who are making a dam and then documenting the making of the dam
  • Damian Smyth – Market Street
  • Rukeyser, William Carlos Williams (Patterson)
  • Agony over people living in poverty
    – Who is being grieved in this moment?
  • Dorothea Lange asked to talk to white people
    – How is race factoring into this?
    – Complicated moments of racial context
  • Informed consent
  • Agee article – commissioned to write this
  • These issues don’t arise with Street in Bronzeville
  • Voices of people affected by the war
  • Brooks – Kitchenette Building
    – Charts degrees of race
    – Crisis of the war in terms of race relations in America
    – Harlem renaissance
    — Race + class + gaze
    — Writing a poem at a certain place at a time and what is there & then
  • Ballad of Pearl May Lee
  • This week’s assignment – poem for a building (e.g. Kitchenette Building) or person (more examples in Brooks collection)
  • Gwendolyn Brooks did groundbreaking work within her own community
  • Ballads, sonnets, open form poems – feels like walking down a street
    – Content against the form
  • What happened to the people who were photographed?
  • Communism, art for the common man…
Class Notes: Week 4